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Full text of "My country and my people"

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1934 was this founder of the personal style of writing rescued from partial or total oblivion. Yuan also never had the courage, or the insight, to advocate the use ofpehhua, or the vernacular tongue, in writing. It was rather the writers of popular novels who had given up all ambition to literary fame and who were forced to write in the pehhua to make their novels intelligible to the public that laid the true foundation of literature in the living tongue. Consequently, when Dr. Hu Shih advocated the use of this medium, he had, as he repeatedly insisted, the groundwork thoroughly prepared for him for nearly a thousand years by these novelists, and people writing in the new medium had ready first-class models before them. Hence its complete overwhelming success in the space of three or four years.
Two important changes followed the literary revolution, First, the cultivation of the personal, familiar style of writing, represented by the Chou brothers, Chou Tsojen and Chou Shujen ("Lusin"). It is noteworthy that Chou Tsojen was greatly influenced by the school of Ytlan Chunglang. The second change was the so-caled "Europeanization of Chinese'* in syntax as well a$ in vocabulary, as silly in the former as it is inevitable in the latter. The introduction of Western terms is only natural, for old terms are not adequate to represent modern concepts. It began with Liang Ch'ich'ao in the eighteen nineties, but was greatly aggravated or accelerated after 1917. With the mania for Western things, this Europeaa-ization of Chinese may well be regarded as an aggravation, but the style introduced is so foreign to the Chinese language that it cannot last. This situation is especially bad in translations of foreign works, which are as preposterous as they are unintelligible to the average Chinese reader.
Actually, such atrocities are perpetrated by translators for no other reason than their insufficient mastery of the foreign language, which forces them to translate word by word without sensing the total concept of the phrase. (Notre-Dam de Paris has actually been translated as "My Parisian Wife.") Imagine also the grotesqueness of translating long English relative clauses following their antecedents into Chinese, with the relative clauses (which do not exist in Chinese) changed into a long string of modifiers extending over several lines before